Ray Harryhausen passed away last week. This has been noted by people more qualified than I to discuss the master of stop-motion magic—Rick Baker, Adam Savage, Todd Masters, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and more. The superhuman talent and perseverance evident in a Harryhausen effects sequence can easily be seen in countless visual effects artists since he first brought his creations to frame-by-frame life on the big screen. That makes sense. So how can I really say anything of worth when I say that I was also profoundly influenced by the artistry of Ray Harryhausen? With modesty, and a story about Clash of the Titans. Continue reading…
This week Screen Editor alex MacFadyen and Comics Editor Carol Borden continue discussing The Dark Knight Rises. We both like Batman and we’re fascinated by how many different Batmans there are. Even though there are things we like about the film, we want to figure out what is it about The Dark Knight Rises‘ Batman [...]
Terry Windling recounts the history of the Ash Girl or Cinderella story from the 9th Century Yeh–hsien to the Disney film, Cinderella, based on Charles Perrault’s 1697 version.
“Depth, light, sound, music: Stephen and Timothy Quay speak on the many dimensions of film,” both animated and live-action, at Keyframe.
Princess Iron Fan is the first Chinese animated feature and it stars Monkey, Sun Wu-Kong. The Wan Bros. made it in 1941 in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. LoveHKFilm has more and you can watch it here.
Director and screenwriter Kaneto Shindo has died. He lived past 100 and made masterpieces including Onibaba, Kuroneko, Children of Hiroshima, Lucky Dragon No. 5 and The Naked Island. He also wrote the screenplays for Seijun Suzuki’s Fighting Elegy, Yasuzo Masumura Irezumi, Kinji Fukasaku’s Under the Flag of the Rising Sun, Seijiro Koyama’s Hachi / Hachiko [...]
Recent fantasy novels seem to spend a lot of time describing their magic systems – who can use magic? how does it work? and at what cost to the magic user? C.J. Cherryh’s Rusalka is, in most senses, no exception to this, since these questions are answered quite clearly. That said, Cherryh’s answers have some [...]
Team Valkyrie FTW likes Once Upon A Time, but “goddamn is it problematic when it comes to race….Do not let this shit slip past you: The only black man in the entire Enchanted Forest is quite literally a Magical Negro. Who is there to grant three wishes to his master. I’m not making this shit [...]
At the excellent Bookview Cafe, Ursula K. LeGuin writes a fairytale of unemployment. My favorite line? “The Works Fairies are not functioning at present.”
Flavorwire has a gallery of Minimalist cover designs for classic children’s stories and fairy tales.
Despite my whinging last month, I do in fact both read and love a lot of young adult Romance. I may not be fond of the ‘Supernatural Boyfriend of the Week’ subgenre (and no, Stephanie Meyer did not invent it; it’s been out there for decades), but that still leaves me with a large field [...]
Illustrator Claire Hummel reinterprets Disney princess costumes to make them more historically accurate. (via The Bookshelves of Lesser Doom)
Actor Peter Falk has died. He was probably best known as Grandpa in The Princess Bride and Lt. Columbo in Columbo, but he worked for Frank Capra, Nicholas Ray, John Cassavetes, Wim Wenders, Robert Altman and Robert Wise. And gave probably the finest performance ever at The Dean Martin Roast. The Guardian, The Telegraph and [...]
The Japan Society had a program featuring Japanese animation from the 1910s-1940s. Even if you missed it, you can still see some shorts –a beautiful 1929 silent featuring Tengu; sing along with a 1930 papercut animation village festival; an unfortunate butterfly from 1931; tricks between a fox spirit and a pair of tanuki in 1933; [...]
Does being amused by turning non-ovine creatures into sheep make you a bad person? It doesn’t seem like a serious question, but appearances can fool you. Especially, according to Plato, if you are a fool. I think it’s safe to say that there would have been no video games in the Republic.
One of the many criticisms levelled at romance novels is that they’re a poor model for women when it comes to real-life relationships. All that fairy tale nonsense, detractors say, will make women want the wrong things from their partners. I could list a dozen things wrong with that assumption, but I’ll limit myself to [...]
A severed dragon head, a monkey’s paw, a vampire pharaoh and an interdimensional cat are all specimens collected and mounted by artist Alex CF. Cryptids, oddities and mythical monsters presented with retro-Victorian naturalism. (thanks, Ariel!)
Check out Gutter editor Chris Szego’s “Four Years Later” at Strange Horizons.
Michael Moorcock’s latest, and last, fantasy trilogy winds different strands of his fiction together intointertwining, virtually meta-fictional narratives reflecting on mythic and heroic archetypes and the power of stories to create new realities. If you like Moorcock, you will enjoy these books. If you don’t like Moorcock, they probably won’t change your mind. And if [...]
It’s a dream every geek, freak, dork, spazz, nerdy girl, artsy fartsy dilettante, re-enactor, socially challenged misfit and misanthrope has had: Sanctuary. A place where you’re left alone. A place where embarrassing quirks, interests and personal oddities aren’t just tolerated, but embraced. And many have tried to build their own sanctuaries from pillow forts to [...]
Familiar tales, like Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid or The Snow Queen, have been reused and retold countless times. Sometimes the result is a mindless rip-off, and sometimes the familiarity of the structure lets a writer riff on the story in creative and surprising ways. It’s a constant cycle, always fascinating but at times [...]